Sewage has overwhelmed a West Sussex village, affecting hundreds of homes and filling the air with an unmistakable smell.
A collapsed sewer and a broken water main coming during a spell of stormy wet weather have been blamed as villagers clean up and Southern Water tries to sort out the mess.
One resident of Barnham told the BBC: “People are paddling around in sewage. It’s like living in Victorian England with an open sewer.”
The worst-hit roads include Marshall Close, Elm Grove and Barnham Road, with some long-running problems resurfacing.
Barnham Road is where the sewer collapsed and dead fish have been reported in a local stream, the Barnham Rife.
There have long been suggestions that too many homes were built in an area with too little infrastructure to deal with the waste water that they produce.
Heavy traffic on the roads is believed to have contributed in a rea where some say that there has been too much building on the water courses relied on for natural drainage.
But that is little comfort to those whose homes have been affected once again by the incursion of sewage.
Alex Saunders, head of wate water networks at Southern Water, told the BBC that the company was sorry for the disruption as it tried to deal with the problems.
He said that a number of things had happened at once, including a sewer collapsing, compounded by the recent exceptionally wet weather and high groundwater levels
Despite the problems, Barnham residents had praise for Neil Packham, from Southern Water, who has been liaising with people affected by the problems.
Tankers have been brought in as the company tries to manage the situation amid suggestions that the Lidsey Wastewater Treatment Works is overloaded.
Traders have been suffering but said that Barnham was still open for business as the worst subsides despite more heavy rain overnight.
The Environment Agency has sent staff to the area and Southern Water said that, while it would work as quickly as possible, it could still be re-laying sewers until the end of February.